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JimbobJeffers

LAT LEGO Alpha Team HD Texture Overhaul

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JimbobJeffers

EDIT: I'm reworking this mod, making most of the textures from scratch instead of upscaling them. I'll leave the downloads below but I'd recommend waiting until I've overhauled this overhaul.

 

 

 

This mod replaces almost all textures in the game with higher-quality versions, with each texture usually being anywhere from 4x to 8x larger than the original. Everything should look crisper and cleaner at high resolutions. The GUI has been redrawn from scratch to look good in widescreen, and most real-world textures (that is, textures not used in a LEGO model) have been remade with more realistic graphics. LEGO textures were put through a kind of vector upscaler, due to the simple graphics, and hence you'll see some parts are rounded so I might come back and clean them up another day. The only textures that haven't been edited are cursors, which don't scale, and fonts. Also the LMap.pac file was left alone as there is some crazy junk in there.

 

 

 

Download

Warning - this is a 520MB download, which uncompressed hits around 1GB. You'll need enough RAM to load that, and may notice loading screens being a tad slower than usual.

Google Drive

Mega

 

 

 

Installation

If you have LEGO Alpha Team installed, see  @lordtobi's post here to set it up for custom resolutions including widescreen.

If you don't have LEGO Alpha Team installed, check out the Windows 10 installation tutorial here.

 

Go into the game's install folder, which for me is C:\Program Files (x86)\LEGO Media\Games\LEGO Alpha Team, and create a new folder called "Original PACs" or something to that effect. Move the game's original Map.pac and Etc.pac files into this folder, so that they are no longer present in the same folder as the game's install files and you have them as backups to easily restore. Now extract the Map.pac and Etc.pac files from the downloaded ZIP file and move them into the install folder. Launch the game as usual and enjoy the mod!

 

 

 

Previews

Check out previews of the mod here. I recommend you open them in a new tab and flick between the two for comparison.

 

Splash Screen

The main level is too zoomed out, but notice the new "Alpha Team" logo and water.

Spoiler

Splash Screen - Original

9ayYfpP.jpg

 

Splash Screen - New

7ZvbPzx.jpg

 

Main Menu

Earth uses textures from NASA, I redrew TeeVee's screen from scratch, and you can see the new widescreen HUD too. For some reason TeeVee's antennae always look somewhat pixellated, even though they're currently smooth at 1024x1024 resolution.

Spoiler

Main Menu - Original

qxI0jCK.jpg

 

Main Menu - New

5XJyK7v.jpg

 

Game

Here you can see substituted textures for the real-world elements, as well as the smoother LEGO parts such as the text on the studs.

Spoiler

Game - Original

p98Bexn.jpg

 

Game - New

73ikoyJ.jpg

 

Edited by JimbobJeffers

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jamesster

On one hand, the screenshots look pretty... On the other, this makes the game completely unplayable for me. First I noticed the load screens were taking upwards of 10 seconds (they were previously nearly instant), but that's fine, I can deal with that. Then the game started hitching as I switched between screens in level selection. Then I loaded a level, and the game dropped to 3-4 FPS and some textures started getting scrambled...

 

This is the level "Double-Duty Charge", I was getting around 3-4 FPS, and as you can see the laser textures are very much broken. The broken laser textures were continually changing, here's another screenshot where they look different. Then I moved the camera, and the framerate went back up to 60, but the laser textures were still broken. I tried some other levels, with similar results - long loading times, broken textures, and either 3-4 FPS or 60 with no middle ground, depending on what was on-screen. You say you upscaled some textures by 8...? I have a hunch you may be plainly pushing the game too far, haha. (Especially given the game's aggressive mipmapping means you don't even really see many of them until you get REALLY close up.)

 

Oh, btw, I'm on Windows 7, processor is an i7, graphics card is an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M (2 GB),  and I've got12 GB of RAM.

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JimbobJeffers

Not so much some textures as the majority of them... Yeah I was probably a bit too ambitious.

 

Thanks for testing it out so quickly though! I'll investigate those laser textures, worst case scenario I just stick with the originals for those.

 

I only played the first couple of levels to test, didn't have time to go further, but I didn't notice frame drops on a GTX 970. I'll upload another pack with textures at half and maybe quarter the current size to see if that helps.

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jamesster

I just checked the first few levels and encountered no problems. I then loaded some other misc levels at random; some ran fine while others had the major FPS drops.

 

I also noticed that the laser textures were only bugging out some of the levels, not all - and that when they did bug out, the texture they turned into seemed to vary based on distance/mipmap level (those last two screens are of the same level, just different camera positions).

 

So, that leads me to think that at some points the game is just getting overloaded in various ways. 8x probably is a bit excessive, haha.

 

Edit: I just extracted your PAC files and... oh geez. Many of these are ridiculously huge. I also noticed some textures were upscaled that had no reason to be, like solid colors, or small textures rendered in-game with point filtering (the result being you get a crisp edge, clearly showing the border between two colors of LEGO pieces or whatever, without having to use a high-res texture... So increasing the resolution of those specifically doesn't help). Many of them also look really muddy.

 

I was working on an Alpha Team texture pack myself a little while back, though not a full overhaul like this, just touching up the specific textures I found to be eye sores (mostly character textures and misc other things). While doing that I noticed POSTER_WANTSYOU_256.TGA had an unused alpha channel, just showing Ogel, oddly without the torso and hip pieces. I guess you, uh, didn't notice that (this is what it should look like). The texture for the "asteroid" at the end of a rope on one unit is miscolored too, it looks like this in your mod but it should be light grey, like the real LEGO piece(s).

 

Anyway, here's some of the textures I upscaled for my unfinished mod vs the ones in your mod:

radioact.tga (mine) radioact.tga (yours)

black_board.tga (mine) black_board.tga (yours)

poster_wantsyou_256.tga (mine) poster_wantsyou_256.tga (yours)

poster2up256_wide.tga (mine) poster2up256_wide.tga (yours)

 

Not sure what exact process you're using (though I have the feeling we were both using waifu2x for much of it), but maybe take some pointers for improving it? Like, past a certain point, it really doesn't help to keep increasing the resolution of something - especially if it just starts exaggerating ugly artifacts and blurs. Plus, at the extent you're upscaling things, you'll pretty much never even see the full res of your textures in-game due to the game's mipmapping, so you're just burning space.

 

Also, when using waifu2x, it's a good idea to run a texture through in multiple modes and see which looks better for that individual texture, combining aspects of both versions if need be (especially on face textures)... And when it comes to tiling textures, this varies case to case, but it's often a good idea to assemble a 3x3 grid of the texture and run that through, then crop it down to the middle one again, so waifu2x treats the edges properly (can be a 1x3 grid for Alpha Team's face textures since only the left/right edges meet each other in-game).

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JimbobJeffers

I really appreciate the in-depth response, especially your tips on scaling tileable textures, I'll take it all onboard. Unfortunately as I've been extremely busy lately I didn't have a lot of time to spend refining textures so they were just rammed through in batch, with certain textures like characters getting more attention. I think I'll spend a while recreating textures as SVGs, and for the laser textures I'll just keep the original given how small the texture appears. Then I can choose appropriate resolutions for each.

 

Edit: Okay I've started making SVG versions of each texture, drawing them myself. A few things will just use the upscaled versions like the smoke textures (ABOMC), and some I won't touch to prevent issues. Textures so far are 4x the size rather than 8x. Also, new boulder texture yay.

 

Edit 2: Here are a few samples of the new textures I'm doing. If you really examine them (on a well-calibrated monitor) you'll see slight colour differences, as I don't have the time to perfectly replicate every gradient. This is a frickin' 16-year-old game that I'm making textures for here, I'm not going for 1:1.

 

Simple arrow texture, notice the new one is cleaner than the upscaled one.

AsmaNyE.png

 

Asteroid texture, this time I first drew the SVG and then applied a couple of realistic (seamless) textures to it.

BwLxRHZ.png

 

Barrel texture, the colour differences are more noticeable here. Again I can't be bothered to make it exact but I may revisit textures once the whole thing is done.

Ad0K3cM.png

 

Belt cog texture, the original and upscaled were both a little blurry so this one is nice and smooth.

xm98oYF.png

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